Contributed by: Dan Skiles, Executive Vice President, Shareholders Service Group
Shareholders Service Group (SSG) is a broker-dealer based in San Diego, CA, serving over 1,000 registered independent advisors. These advisors give us authority to do trading on their accounts and perform other services ranging from debiting their management fee to opening new accounts. Here is how we deployed and implemented Laserfiche in order to optimize customer service while abiding by strict industry regulations.
“You can make the right technology purchase, but a failed implementation plan will limit your results.”
Define your business processes and establish ownership
In order to make Laserfiche as intuitive as possible, we focused on how business was already being done and replicated that within Laserfiche. This helped our staff with the transition because they did not have to change their mindset. They were already comfortable with the existing process, and they were simply being asked to do it in an electronic medium.
I’ve found that if something doesn’t have an owner, nothing changes, so before installing Laserfiche we assigned an owner to it. This person monitors the system and is responsible and held accountable for it. He is also in charge of staff training. The other staff members know that they share collectively in Laserfiche, but that one person is a central point of contact for information regarding the system.
Focus on the users
We made sure that everyone was involved in the implementation, even if they were barely going to touch Laserfiche on a day-to-day basis. We asked every employee, from those who have been there for 10 years to summer interns, to contribute ideas and not rely on just one person to make decisions regarding how things should be organized within the repository. We encouraged them to go beyond what’s right in front of them today and think of better way to do things tomorrow. Letting the staff know that we thought about their needs and valued their feedback was key to obtaining everyone’s buy-in.
Even after deployment, we have stayed focused on our end-users by:
- Establishing clear policies and do’s and don’ts for everyone. For example:
- We implemented a reasonable scanning timeline—how quickly documents should be scanned into Laserfiche after they are received—and enforce it across the firm.
- We have a rule that if a document isn’t scanned, it is as if it didn’t exist since no one has access to the information that it contains. This encourages employees to scan in all documents in a timely matter.
- Sharing success stories about Laserfiche both internally and with our clients.
- In order to facilitate knowledge sharing and to demonstrate how Laserfiche is making a difference at SSG, we delegate a part of regular staff meetings to sharing how Laserfiche helps us do business.
- As staff members service clients, they share with them how using Laserfiche allows them to obtain the requested information quickly and efficiently. We make sure that our advisors know how we handle the documents and leverage the system because it gives them a level of comfort that their business is in capable hands.
Make finding information quick and easy
In order to make it easy for employees to access client information and to get new associates on board very quickly, we defined and enforce a basic and intuitive repository folder structure.
Each of our advisors is assigned an advisor number. We break down the advisor files by advisor numbers in our folder tree.
Within each advisor folder, there is a separate folder for each account associated with that registered advisor firm.
Within each account folder, documents are stored by type:
- Account Documents.
If one of our associates is on the phone with a client and needs to reference a particular document, he can quickly browse to the required folder and bring up the file immediately.
Reap the benefits of Laserfiche
Implementing Laserfiche at SSG has resulted in the following advantages:
- Significant decrease in the time it takes to respond to FINRA audit requests.
- Improved client relationships due to accessing information for over 1,000 advisors and their clients at the click of a button.
- 15-minute onboarding of new associates.
- Increased staff confidence in addressing open questions.
- Greater management control of business processes and documents.